Advancing policies and federal, state, and, local legislation to prevent FASD or benefit individuals and families living with the condition is an important part of the NOFAS mission. NOFAS works with its affiliates, partners, and other FASD stakeholders to identify issues, develop strategies, and communicate a policy and legislative agenda to advocates and policymakers. NOFAS advocacy activities include:
- Briefing lawmakers, legislative staff, and other policymakers
- Training advocates
- Drafting policy papers and legislation
- Issuing action alerts
- Updating FASD stakeholders and the general public on the status of FASD-related policies and legislation
- Integrating advocacy into NOFAS programs and media outreach
Current policy and legislative items that NOFAS is following include:
- S.237, the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act introduced in the U.S. Senate. NOFAS has issued an Action Alert urging FASD advocates to contact their U.S. senators asking them to cosponsor the bill.
- The restoration of funding for FAS at the Department of Health and Human Serives, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In fiscal 2014, FAS funding at SAMHSA was reduced to $1 million from $9.8 million in the previous year (the actual amount available for FAS at SAMHSA in 2013 was $8.8 million after the mandatory sequestration reduction on March 1, 2013). NOFAS is calling for Congress to restore FAS funding in fiscal 2015 to $9.8 million.
- The inclusion of FASD in DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association [Update: Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) has been included section III of DSM-5 with other conditions that have clinical guidelines and criteria but require additional research to validate the criteria for diagnostic use with patients;
- An FASD resolution to be considered by the American Bar Association [Update: PASSED unanimously on August 7, 2012].
Check back soon for more information about NOFAS advocacy.